Background: Neurodevelopmental models of schizophrenia suggest that cognitive deficits may be observed during childhood and adolescence, long before the onset of psychotic symptoms. Elucidating the trajectory of normal cognitive development during childhood and adolescence may therefore provide a basis for identifying specific abnormalities related to the development of schizophrenia. The MATRICS Consensus Cognitive Battery (MCCB), which was designed for use in clinical trials targeting cognitive deficits most common in schizophrenia, may provide a mechanism to understand this trajectory. To date, however, there is no performance data for the MCCB in healthy children and adolescents. The present study sought to establish performance data for the MCCB in healthy children, adolescents, and young adults. Methods: The MCCB was administered to a community sample of 190 healthy subjects between the ages of 8 and 23 years. All MCCB domain scores were converted to T-scores using sample means and standard deviations and were compared for significant performance differences between sex and age strata. Results: Analyses revealed age effects following quadratic trends in all MCCB domains, which is consistent with research showing a leveling off of childhood cognitive improvement upon approaching late adolescence. Sex effects after controlling for age only presented for one MCCB domain, with males exhibiting well-known spatial reasoning advantages. Conclusions: Utilizing this performance data may aid future research seeking to elucidate specific deficits that may be predictive of later development of SZ. (C) 2013 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
Faculty, Northwell Researcher
School of Medicine; Northwell Health